Submitted by Nitza Dovenspike
Susan Jungmann, a retired nurse, organized a retreat for Latina women over ten years ago in Council Bluffs, Iowa. At the time, a Hispanic ministry was being formed at Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs.
Since that time, the group has been gathering and growing in numbers every year; excluding a hiatus year during the pandemic.
With the support of the Instituto Latino, the spiritual formation arm of the Hispanic/Latino Ministries Standing Committee, women from the different Hispanic/Latinx communities of faith in Iowa gather to worship, study the Bible, share stories of God’s glory in their lives, learn, and fellowship. Guest women clergy and laity from across the connection have led the studies, shared, and encouraged the participants.
On May 26-27,
2023, the group gathered at the Sunstream Retreat in Ogden, Iowa. Forty-five women were encouraged and fed with words based on Scripture. The theme this year was titled “Placing our gaze on Jesus” with segments on deciding to be, taking a place, and continuing to be a follower of Jesus.
With friendship bonds strengthened, women go back to their communities and the following year invite new participants.
This group of women is forever grateful for the support offered by Hispanic offerings that support the work of the Instituto Latino, the educational arm of the Standing Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries.